The wait for Stana Katic’s Absentia continues — at least here in America. We know that many people elsewhere are enjoying the show! Yet, for the time being we are holding steadfast on our recent decision to cover the show when it premieres in North America. It’s tough since we’d love to watch every episode right now, but there’s something to be said for getting that community viewing experience stateside.
Because we haven’t written about the show as much lately (there are fewer topics without getting into spoiler territory), let’s start things off here by making our desired situation on this show fairly clear: If the show’s secret network home is a major broadcast network (as opposed to cable, where we’ve written about TNT, WGN America, and others), we would like to see Absentia end up on CBS. More than that, we want it to be a part of the network’s Saturday-night lineup alongside Ransom, which was just picked up for a surprising second season after seemingly being left for dead. Like Absentia, Ransom isn’t a show owned or funded directly through the network — it also films in Europe and has an audience all over the world. These shows are somewhat kindred spirits in this way, though we consider Ransom more of a procedural and Absentia a show with more of a centralized story.
While we’re at it, one final note: Our dream Saturday schedule for CBS is Ransom, Absentia, and then maybe Major Crimes, which was recently canceled over on TNT. (For the record, we’re doing Major Crimes interviews all month.) We’re going to talk about this idea more in the future.
What the Ransom pickup signifies, provided that CBS keeps it in its Saturday timeslot, is that the network is trying to make a commitment to programming on the night. Do we know that it’s tough to find large audiences there? Sure, but airing on CBS would still allow Absentia a chance to find a fairly large audience, while also having lower ratings expectations than during the week. There are still issues, especially when it would come to editing Absentia episodes down in order to fit network TV timeframes and content. We wonder if a solution there would be to show the longer, uncut episodes on the CBS All Access streaming service while also presenting a broadcast version. Putting Absentia in a steady lineup would help to cement more of a long-term future, and our idea would work to satisfy both network viewers while presenting an extra incentive for those who subscribe to the streaming service.
Is this just one idea? Sure, and we’ve presented many others that have come and go over time in terms of whether or not we think they’re feasible. The biggest thing, regardless of scheduling, lineup, or anything else, is that the show has a home who supports it. If that’s CBS, fantastic — if not them, than someone else. The Ransom renewal just serves as proof-of-concept that airing on Saturdays can work on a broadcast network, and that CBS will work with shows that are not within their own studio stables.
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